Axe Monkeys’ Matt Bibby going over axe throwing scores with Team Sweden. Photo: Mackenzie Britton/Capital News

Kelowna axe throwing business hosts Team Sweden

The Swedish junior hockey team stopped in at Kelowna’s Axe Monkeys.

It’s not everyday a national junior hockey team stops in at a local business.

But that was the reality for Kelowna’s Axe Monkeys earlier this week when the Swedish junior hockey team put to rest their puck shooting skills, and tested their axe throwing abilities.

Axe Monkeys’ manager Matt Bibby was glad to host the young hockey team.

“It’s huge for us to host this calibre of a team, we’re elated and humble that they chose to come throw with us. It also shows that we can handle the big and loud groups,” said Bibby. “Axe throwing is a bit on the wild side, its fun to do exactly what our parents told us not to do growing up, and it’s entertaining (for the team).”

Team Sweden was enjoying a couple extra days in Kelowna after a preliminary World Juniors match up with Team Russia on Dec. 18. Team Sweden and Team Russia took to Prospera Place to showcase a friendly and fun game for Kelowna’s hockey fans, who showed up in droves, for a nearly sold out game.

While the Rockets are on holiday breaks, Team Sweden handed Team Russia a 4-2 loss at Prospera Place to help Kelowna hockey fans bide time until the Rockets return.

“(Kelowna) is awesome and we couldn’t ask for a better set up while we stay here for a couple more days,” said Sweden head coach Tomas Montén after the victory against Team Russia.

RELATED: Kelowna hosts World Junior pre-tournament game

Team Sweden was lucky in their schedule to have a couple days off in between their next game in Chilliwack on Dec. 22. Team manager Jonas Fransson wanted to do something a little different for team bonding while in Kelowna.

“The boys love to compete, and if they win that’s good, and if they lose, that will fire them up heading into the tournament,” said Fransson. “Its a different type of team bonding, but we have a young group that hasn’t played much together and we wanted to have some fun in our time (in Kelowna). We’re looking forward to the tournament in Vancouver because we have nothing to lose, and we’re excited.”

For Axe Monkeys, the three-year-old local business aims to establish itself in a city that offers a wide array of fun activities. Hosting a hockey team with potential NHL players seems as good a place as any to start.

“That first thunk into the wood just makes you want it more and more,” Bibby said earlier in the month. “This (team visiting) is just proof that we’re the place to be for entertainment.”

Team Sweden will play Team Denmark on Dec. 22, before the tournaments start on Dec. 26 where it will be Team Sweden against Team Finland to mark the first day of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

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